Album Reviews

Water Damage: Repeater

The Austin seven-piece unleash their debut LP.

This year has seen many artists really honing in on the visceral aspects of art. While politically-charged music has become prominent throughout the the popular music landscape, one thing that isn’t getting spoken of is politics through sound.

The world, quite rightly, is an angry place, however do we really need need a swathe of sprechgesang soundalikes to keep telling us about the world’s injustices by pulling buzz words from Twitter and shoehorning them into a song?

These aspects are just as effective via sound. For example, Godspeed You! Black Emperor have carved their own paths over the years by doing this. More recently, and perhaps there isn’t a better interpretation of this than Divide And Dissolve’s fantastic 2021, Gas Lit.

Of course there are other artists in this space. Other artists like Water Damage.

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The Austin seven-piece aren’t the kind of band to do things in halves. Consisting of bassists (yes the band has two), Nate Cross and Jeff Piwonka, bowed guitarist, Travis Austin, drummers (yes, they come in threes), Thor Harris, Greg Piwonka and Mike Kanin, and George Dishner on synthesiser, Water Damage’s debut LP, Repeater is like a debauched orchestra unleashing the most hellish of rackets. This is an uproar indicative of these times, and over 43 minutes Water Damage pull you into their world of uncertainty where you have no option but to submit.

Water Damage - Repeater

The cauldron of noise starts with Reel 2. Metallic and motorik, Reel 2 is 22 minutes of guardrail scraping drone rock that draws you into its clutches like some primal beast that has emerged from the deep forest. 

Meanwhile with Reel5b, Water Damage expel some form of abrasive diesel-powered free-jazz stomp. Dishevelled and discordant, its menace slowly drips into the droning bee swarm of noise that is the closing track, Reel4b: a hard-edged composition that slices through with crumpled percussion and nerve-jangling bass lines.

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While only three tracks, Water Damage emphatically get their point across on Repeater, an album that is a hypnotic blast, stringing together styles of the past and forming them into something fierce and illuminating.

This is music made by people that have been around the block a few times and through their searing slabs of sound, Water Damage produce the kind of rancour that resonates both with the listener and with these times.

Repeater is out now via 12XU. Purchase from Bandcamp.

By Simon Kirk

Product from the happy generation. Proud purple bin owner surviving on music, books and LFC. New book, Welcome To Charmsville, available from all major vendors.

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